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'We have to rise up and do better': A commentary by Donita Volkwijn

August 02, 2021

Continuing the conversation: How philanthropy is changing how it talks about race In June 2020, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors responded to questions in the sector about how to begin difficult conversations in the workplace. Our response was meant to provide guidance... read more

The Sustainable Nonprofit: 'Transforming philanthropic events with digital platforms'

While many of us were hunkered down at home during the last eighteen months, the pandemic did not put an end to philanthropic activity. When organizations could not fundraise through their traditional channels like charitable walks and runs, dance competitions,... read more

'Philanthropy must have its own racial reckoning': A Q&A with Rashid Shabazz

July 30, 2021

Rashid Shabazz is the inaugural executive director of Critical Minded, a grantmaking and advocacy initiative founded in 2017 by the Ford and Nathan Cummings foundations to support cultural critics of color in the United States by building a cultural ecosystem... read more

'Now is the time for philanthropy to support today's brave movements for justice': A commentary by Jesenia A. Santana

July 28, 2021

Today's racial justice movements need protection — and funders must respond Like so many others across the country, members of Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro have organized and participated in numerous protests and public calls for racial justice in the... read more

'We understood what it meant to be silenced, afraid, and vulnerable': A Q&A with Mónica Ramírez

July 26, 2021

Mónica Ramírez is an organizer, attorney, social entrepreneur, and founder and president of Justice for Migrant Women, whose work includes policy advocacy, civic and political engagement, public awareness and education campaigns, narrative shift initiatives, and multi-sector and multi-ethnic power-building collaborations.... read more

Private foundations and DAFs: Short-lived synergy?

July 22, 2021

When families and their advisors contemplate establishing a charitable vehicle, they often compare and contrast the advantages of private foundations and donor-advised funds (DAFs). However, for many donors, the best choice isn't either a private foundation or a DAF —... read more

[Review] 'Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future'

July 19, 2021

In her sobering yet captivating book, Under A White Sky: The Nature of the Future, Elizabeth Kolbert examines the ongoing human attempt to control nature, a vicious cycle that often results in the creation of more problems. A staff writer... read more

Twenty years after 9/11, still fighting the criminalization and dehumanization of our communities

July 15, 2021

On September 15, 2001, Balbir Singh Sodhi was planting flowers outside the gas station he owned in Mesa, Arizona, when Frank Silva Roque, a white Boeing aircraft mechanic, saw Sodhi's turban, a sign of his Sikh faith, and shot and... read more

[Review] 'How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need'

July 12, 2021

We are toast. Climate change is here, and things are not getting better. In the United States alone we are seeing unprecedented wildfires in California, mind-numbing heat in the Pacific Northwest, a mega-drought stretching from the Great Plains to the... read more

5 Questions For…Linda Goler Blount, President and CEO, Black Women's Health Imperative

July 08, 2021

Linda Goler Blount joined the Black Women's Health Imperative, the first nonprofit organization created by Black women to help protect and advance the health and wellness of Black women and girls, as president and CEO in February 2014. Since then,... read more

A moment for arts and social change

July 06, 2021

MacKenzie Scott's latest $2.74 billion round of grants made big news for the outsized impact one donor can have on the nonprofit sector and for its focus on tackling inequities. Also notable was the number of arts and cultural groups... read more

How nonprofits can evolve following a time of uncertainty

July 01, 2021

As the country begins to reopen after more than a year of uncertainty and isolation, the need for a sense of community and belonging is greater than ever. There couldn't be a better time for nonprofit organizations to double down... read more

Talking about social issues with the uninformed

June 29, 2021

My father always said to avoid controversial subjects like religion at the dinner table. He meant to warn us about introducing potentially divisive topics into an otherwise pleasant evening. Today, though, with social media, a twenty-four-hour news cycle, and cell... read more

The responsibility of nonprofits to take care of staff, now and in the future

June 24, 2021

When the pandemic hit, everyone panicked, and nonprofits weren't immune. Organizations like mine, Teen Cancer America (TCA), relied significantly on large in-person fundraising events and activities to support our work, and when such events were no longer possible, our entire... read more

Unfinished business: Why the social justice movement needs nonprofits

June 18, 2021

In 2020, social justice issues moved front and center in ways most of us couldn't have predicted. As some of the largest and broadest demonstrations for racial justice in U.S. history erupted across the country, corporations came under greater pressure... read more

Funding criminal justice reform in Latin America: Investing in affected communities

June 15, 2021

There is always a glass-half-full aspect to grantmaking: While we are proud of what our grants have helped accomplish, we recognize that we can always do better. Looking back on the past decade of grantmaking by the Open Society Foundations'... read more

It's time to build a better behavioral health system

June 10, 2021

Our nation's collective mental health has been severely challenged since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, as we begin to envision our post-pandemic future, it's important to take a step back and recognize that our behavioral health system needed... read more

What the donor-advised fund payout rate means for philanthropy and how it fits into the bigger charitable giving picture

June 08, 2021

Those of us who work with donor-advised fund (DAF) donors every day know that they are caring, committed, and creative givers. We also know they use DAFs for both their long- and short-term giving. This has never been more apparent... read more

Venture philanthropy: The secret weapon for unlocking biomedical research's full life-changing potential

June 04, 2021

More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much reflection around "lessons learned" across all sectors. In the biomedical research space, we've seen science meet the urgent need for safe and effective vaccines at miraculous speed to... read more

What COVID-19 has taught us about the humanitarian system and women's rights organizations

June 02, 2021

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck — and with it came public health measures including stay-at-home orders — women's rights organizations (WROs) the world over were quick to sound the alarm: Gender-based violence (GBV) would increase. Women and "marginalized" groups would... read more

5 Questions for...Marisa Franco, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Mijente

May 31, 2021

Marisa Franco is co-founder and executive director of Mijente and the Mijente Support Committee, a Latinx and Chicanx advocacy organization and digital and grassroots organizing hub. Founded in 2015, Mijente's campaigns have resulted in a number of electoral victories, including... read more

The pain of leading while Black

May 25, 2021

It's been a year since George Floyd was murdered by people who were supposed to protect and serve him. I can spend time analyzing how the nonprofit sector has — or hasn't — changed since then; but there are plenty... read more

How trust-based values can transform philanthropy

May 21, 2021

Winston Churchill is credited with being the first to say, "Never let a good crisis go to waste." While the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in immeasurable pain and suffering, it has also inspired action around how philanthropy can better address... read more

Intentional philanthropy to diversify science

May 17, 2021

Last week, Michael Bloomberg announced a $150 million gift to my alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to provide permanent funding for a hundred STEM PhD students from minority-serving institutions. The gift is noteworthy not for its amount but rather for... read more

Strategies for nonprofit success in a post-pandemic landscape

May 11, 2021

A recent survey by the Nonprofit Finance Fund found that 60 percent of nonprofits experienced conditions in 2020 that threatened their long-term financial stability. As a result, most nonprofits had to reimagine how they engage with donors and the beneficiaries... read more

A case for self-support: serving ourselves in a time of great stress

April 30, 2021

"How are you doing?" I asked a donor on a phone call last summer. Her response stayed with me. "I'm doing pandemic fine," she said, before explaining that that was the kind of response one gives during a public health... read more

5 Questions for...Frances Sykes, President and CEO, Pascale Sykes Foundation

April 27, 2021

For much of its existence, the New Jersey-based Pascale Sykes Foundation has worked to strengthen low-income working families in the New Jersey/New York region through what it calls the Whole Family Approach, a preventive (as opposed to crisis-driven) strategy that... read more

The next Silicon Valley must-have? A private foundation

April 23, 2021

While the pandemic may have shuttered businesses across the country, Silicon Valley tech companies have defied the odds. In 2020, IPO capital raising hit its highest level in a decade. Start-up valuations soared, and blockbuster IPOs, like the one for... read more

Social issues are getting personal

April 21, 2021

I’ve talked in this space about how social issue engagement builds from what interests and engages us: we educate ourselves, get motivated to act, then look for like-minded people to join in pushing for change. In the recent past, research... read more

5 Questions for...Pete Gurt, president, Milton Hershey School and Catherine Hershey Schools

April 19, 2021

Unable to have children, chocolate magnate Milton Hershey and his wife, Catherine, established the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in 1909 as a boarding school for orphaned boys. A decade later, Hershey created a $60 million endowment for the... read more

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."


    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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